By Richard M. Soukup, D.C.
Take a moment to assess your current posture. Are your feet flat on the floor? Knees and hips at 90 degrees? Are your shoulders back? Is your head in line with your shoulders, and your spine straight?
If you are reading this on a desktop computer there is a good chance you are practicing proper postural habits. Unfortunately, if you are reading this on your phone or tablet there is a greater chance that you are engaged in postural habits that can increase neck pain, headaches, and pain across the shoulders. While technology has freed us from our desks, it has also increased the prevalence of a condition now called “text neck.”
Text neck refers to the loss of the natural curve in our necks that distributes the force from the weight of our head evenly throughout our neck and shoulders. When we spend long periods of time looking forward and down we ingrain muscle patterns that cause the natural curve in our necks to straighten and angle forward. For every inch of forward head translation, the relative weight of the head on the neck doubles. This can lead to early arthritic changes in the joints of the spine.
Regular chiropractic adjustments help to realign the spine’s vertebrae so that it can move freely. With proper alignment and movement, an exercise called “Cervical Extension Traction” can help restore the neck’s lost curve. After the initial phase of care, your chiropractor can explain how to properly utilize this exercise to combat the negative affects of daily activities that alter the natural curve of the neck. Cervical range of motion stretches can help lengthen shortened neck muscles.
For those of you who are Android users, an app is available that warns you when you are engaged in improper postural habits while using your Android device. Look for “Text Neck Indicator: A Mobile App” in you Android store. Text safely!
About the Author:
Richard M. Soukup D.C. is a Clinic Director at The Joint, an affordable, proactive and convenient wellness chiropractic clinic. The Joint is located at 1725 Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda. It is open weekdays from 10am to 7pm and weekends from 10am – 4pm, and walk-ins are welcome. Initial consultations with the doctor include a focused spinal exam and full spine adjustment for $19. A Premium Wellness Plan includes 4 monthly visits for $49. Learn more at www.thejoint.com or call 716-335-9300.